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Writing a Position Paper

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by

Sean Desrochers

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Writing a Position Paper

Image by Tom Mooring
Writing a Position Paper
Intro {
{
Body {
{

Conclusion {
Hook/Anecdote
The purpose of the first sentence in your introduction is to draw the reader in. You want to hook them with something interesting and get them wanting to read more. This can be a quote, an interesting fact, a short anecdote, a joke or a statement.
Topic Overview
The second part of your introduction should broadly introduce the topic of your paper. Sum up the subject you will be writing about as simply and clearly as possible. What is the question at issue? What problem are you going to examine?
Different Perspectives
To demonstrate critical thinking it is important to acknowledge different perspectives on the issue. What is the range of opinions that people have on this topic? To make the case for your point of view, you have to show you understand the main perspectives that other people can take on the issue.
Thesis Statement
This is one sentence that succinctly - clearly, precisely, accurately - answers the question at issue. This sets up the position that you will be arguing throughout the whole paper. The reasoning and evidence you put in the body should support your thesis statement.
Main Points/Reason
Either before or after your thesis you should briefly list the main reasons that support your position. Each reason will become the topic for one of the body paragraphs. Aim for
three
good reasons, that you can elaborate on and provide evidence for. Your reasons can be very broad because you will make them more specific and add details in the body.
Topic 1: Take the first one of the reasons you stated, explain it in detail, give evidence and examples to support your stance. Relate it back to your thesis
Topic 2: Take the second one of the reasons you stated, explain it in detail, give evidence and examples to support your stance. Relate it back to your thesis
Topic 3: Take the third one of the reasons you stated, explain it in detail, give evidence and examples to support your stance. Relate it back to your thesis
Organize your reasons and evidence into paragraphs. These can be specific reasons or categories of reasons.
e.g. Social Reasons, Political Reasons and Economic Reasons.
It is a good idea to give your best reason last. You can also explain why your position is better than another perspective
You can think of a conclusion, as your introduction in reverse. You should restate your thesis and reasons. Highlight any important information from your body. And summarize your position briefly. No new information should be presented in the conclusion. Your intro goes from general to focused, and the conclusion should go from focused back to general.
The first paragraph draws the reader in, introduces your topic, lets the reader know what your stance on the issue is, and outlines the reasons you will discuss in your paper. The introduction starts out broad and becomes more focused
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